Mystery swatches

Back in June sometime, which was the last time I worked on the Master Hand-Knitter Level I swatches, I finished swatches 7-12 (3 decrease swatches, 1 yo’s swatch, 2 eyelets swatches) and half of 16 (colorwork swatch).  The trouble is I didn’t wash or label any of them, and apparently thought I would remember what my system of knots and stitch markers meant in terms of which numbered swatch was which.  (stupid. stupid. stupid.)  Now I have to sort out 7-9 and 11-12; the swatches within those two sets look distressingly similar to one another.  Please don’t tell me I have to reknit just to identify them!?!?!

If anyone else is out there working on their Master program swatches, please take a lesson from my silliness, and do not fail to keep at least a temporary label with your swatches.  You never know when life will keep you busy and suddenly you won’t have looked at your swatches for six months and your brilliant system of stitch markers, or knots in the cast-off tail, no longer makes any sense to you!

Here’s what labeling I have for 7-9 (the decrease swatches):  no markers of any kind, one marker, and two knots.  What did I mean by that?  Was no markers of any kind=zero, then one marker=2 then two knots=3?  Or does one marker=1 then two knots=2 and does no markers of any kind=3 but I was too lazy/busy to mark it?  I’m thinking the latter, but I’m going to try to puzzle out some confirmation by comparing my swatches to other people’s posted on Ravelry.  For swatches 11 & 12, I have no labeling whatsoever, but I did find them in two different places, so I think the one I found with the earlier swatches is 11 and the one by it’s lonesome is 12.  This assumption is also borne out by comparing it to posted swatches on Ravelry.  Needless to say, I’m kicking myself right now for my complete failure of organization.

So after completely ignoring the Master Knitter Level I project for 6 months, I return to it to realize that I really only have remaining:  1/2 of one swatch, the hat project and a few questions to answer.  Well, that and sorting and labeling my mystery swatches as I’ve mentioned.

Planned TKGA Level I hat

Planned TKGA Level I hat

The hat, to me, is both the most intimidating and most uninspiring of the lot.  On the uninspiring side: it’s a lot of stitches, (with apologies to the designer) I feel the pattern is kind of ugly, and lastly, I know how to knit a hat.  Hats are one of my favorite things to knit, I’m sure I’ll be fine with knitting in the round and basic hat construction.

What intimidates me is that colorwork is the area I’m least practiced in, I never heard of a “jogless join” until this project, I have no clue what a bi-colored purl is (although apparently, it’s bad bad bad), and I worry that my knitting flaws are going to show up most in the projects (bigger canvas, more room for mistakes).

Ravelympics Team Master Seekers

Ravelympics Team Master Seekers

So to make myself feel more motivated (and to give me a deadline), I’ve decided to enter the “Hat Half-pipe” Ravelympics event with my fellow TKGA Master-Seeker Ravelers.  I am not to start my hat challenge until the Olympics kick off, and I am to end by the end of closing ceremonies.  I’m planning to make the child’s size, so there’s a few less stitches; and besides, the adult size in the pattern seems a bit small for my big head.  I’ll finish that swatch #16 and hopefully all of the questions in the next two weeks to prepare myself for the grand hat finale.

In other knitting news, I have finally finished one of two socks for my husband out of Zwerger Garn Opal: Harry Potter yarn in the “Lupin” colorway.  And I have to say, that although I once coveted a skein in each colorway of their Harry Potter yarns (being an HP-nerd and all), I’m no longer sure that I want even one more such skein.  It’s not a bad yarn by any means, it is a high-quality fine yarn.  But it is a FINE yarn, this is a sock yarn so thin that I feel as though it would make a lovely cobweb shawl.

I guess I’m not enough of a sock enthusiast that I appreciate working such tiny stitches on endless boring rounds.  And complex self-striping colorways don’t tend to look good with anything but plainer patterns.  Maybe it’s just because I have too many other things “on the needles” at the moment, but I’m not thrilled with the tiny gauge and slow progress.  I’m getting about 8 sts per inch on US 2 (2.75 mm) needles.  They call it a “4-ply”.  The other socks I did in a Zwerger Garn Opal yarn was in a “8-ply” yarn, and I think that to me was about the perfect sock weight (particularly for a self-striping yarn), coming in at around 5 sts per inch on US 2 (2.75 mm).  It made up a nice mid-weight fabric, like one of the new commercially produced “light hiking socks”.  This “4-ply” will probably make a sock that feels almost like a thinner standard all-purpose commercial crew-sock.  Which is great and all, but I’d rather make more socks in less time.

Last bit of knitting news for me.  Last month, I finished a flapper-style hat, and it’s absolutely awesome… but you’ll just have to take my word for it because at the moment I have no photos.

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